Increasingly I’m seeing the light bulbs switch on in business owners’ heads as they realise that seemingly small changes and thoughtful customer benefits make a significant difference to their profit margins.
Take a random business – a lawn mowing service – and think about everything a typical lawn mowing service offers and other services it could offer. A lawn mowing service is actually very well positioned to up-sell, offer additional services and even create packages that include products from complimentary businesses. I’d be happy to pay extra for my regular lawn mowing service to remove weeds from the lawn. I’d also be willing to pay for bindis to be sprayed and grass seeds scattered at different times of the year. And, if I trusted the business enough I’d also buy fertiliser from them and happily be referred to a pest control service if they had strategic alliances with complimentary businesses.
The possibilities for our lawn mowing service are seemingly endless. Take the most basic of our up-selling options – the weeding service. This would not require much extra time, when done alongside a regular lawn mowing service, nor would it require many additional products or equipment. However, I would happy fork out 10-25% more for this added service.
All of this could be complimented by direct debit and electronic payment options, a text message reminder service, the option of scheduled phone calls to arrange bookings, and a newsletter containing seasonal tips for lawn and garden maintenance with an overview of their various additional services. This will assist in increasing the frequency of patronage and encourage consistent, repeat business (also known as predicted cashflow – the best kind!).
You can apply this same rationale to a hair salon, for example, which doesn’t necessarily want to increase its range of services, but instead enhance the simple processes and thoughtful customer benefits providing an opportunity to charge more and get more frequent patronage. Some of these seemingly ‘little things’ include:
- Coffee and a magazine.
- Being consistently quick.
- Going the added extra.
- Ensuring they come back.
They’re not huge services, are they? But they can lead to a 10-25% increase in profit through more frequent patronage, add-ons and perhaps even increased prices! You may be doing ‘little’ things like this now, without realising the extent to which they’re helping your business or drawing sufficient attention to them in a way that justifies your prices and encourages happier customers.
What extra services do you offer your customers?